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Psychedelic cybersecurity: How lava lamps are improving network security

Nov. 10, 2017

Do you want to increase cybersecurity at your plant? Consider investing in lava lamps.

Do you want to increase cybersecurity at your plant? Consider investing in lava lamps. It might sound crazy, but lava lamps have one advantage over computers; they are able to readily generate random patterns. This randomness can be processed and converted into numbers and used by a computer as a key to protect sensitive data.

According to Eric Limer for Popular Mechanics: "Content Delivery Network Cloudflare, as Tom Scott explains, instead turns to a wall of lava lamps which it uses as input into a video feed which turns the unpredictable visual data of floating blogs into a truly random number. Given that Cloudfare provides the infrastructure behind large swaths of the internet, it pays to be careful.

If that seems a little Rube Goldbergian, it is, but there's not a simple, software solution that's nearly as thorough as something like this that mixes in uncertainty from the complex physical world. At least until we develop compact quantum random number generators. Even then it might be worth hanging onto the lava lamp wall, you know, just for fun."

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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